Students First

For the thousands of you who have been reading PS you know that I’m a big public education reform advocate.  In the words of Michelle Rhee it is the civil rights issue of our time.  She has started a revolution called Students First  to transform our public education system. 

If you think public education is just fine then you need to look at these stats.  It is sobering to see how much we are failing our children and ultimately ourselves.  The reality is that public education is really not free when it doesn’t work.  It becomes very expensive to care for an increasingly less educated population.  We are now among the bottom third of industrialized nations when it comes to Math and English test performance among 15 year olds.  That’s pathetic. 

For those who don’t know Michelle Rhee is the recent Superintendent of Public Schools of Washington D.C.  Among other things she fired a bunch of bad teachers and closed schools that were broken.  She also proposed the end of tenure.  Instead she proposed merit pay for great teachers in which they could make six figure incomes, if they gave up tenure.  Imagine that, if you do a great job you can make a lot of money.  If you do a lousy job you get fired.  I don’t know about you, but that’s how my career worked.  And that’s how most careers work.  But today public school teachers get to keep their jobs forever after two years…regardless of performance.  Wow.

This is one of the goals of Students First…reward great teachers and get rid of the bad ones.  And ultimately the kids win.  Isn’t that really what we all want?  Imagine if all our children were not only graduating from high school but also going onto college.   Right now less than one-third of high school graduates go on to college.  And if I’m not mistaken our society has pretty much shipped all the high school graduate type jobs overseas.

Anyway, I could go on and on.  I joined, sent money and volunteered for everything.  I’m way in.  How about you?

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